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Android Without Google

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matt2053

Senior Member
Dec 17, 2010
2,066
295
40
Clearwater, FL
There have been posts about this here and there, but most of them are just asking for advice on how to do it. I plan to follow through and document the solutions I find.

Why, you ask? I don't like Google having so much data on me. I used to not care but in today's environment with SOPA and new NSA data centers and whatnot, well... maybe I'm paranoid but I don't necessarily want anyone to so easily have such a complete profile of all my searches, contacts, location history, etc. Anyway, if you think it's dumb, ok, got it, move along please.

So if I don't like Google then why use Android? Well, a couple of reasons. First of all, Google is not Android. Android is maintained by the Android Open Source Project, which in turn is made up of members of the Open Handset Alliance. Yes, Google is the lead member of the Open Handset Alliance, and yes most of the developers working on the Android Open Source Project are Google employees. But I've been following Android for long enough now to know that Google and Android are for all practical purposes separate entities.

The second reason is because Android is simply the best mobile operating system on the planet right now, and it is free open-source software. I use Ubuntu on my laptop, and I'm not interested in switching to Windows or Mac, so that pretty much rules out iPhone or Windows Phone right there.

But isn't Android really Google's OS? Yes and No. As I mentioned, Google does pretty much run the AOSP, along with device manufacturers. But AOSP is very "provider agnostic." Much of what you see on your phone is not from AOSP. The Galaxy Nexus is a GOOGLE device, not an AOSP device. Gmail, Maps, Market, Location Tracking, etc are all GOOGLE ADDITIONS and are NOT a part of AOSP! When you build AOSP from source (or Cyanogenmod), you end up with an agnostic, neutral device that has practically no mention of anything Google whatsoever.

But what about what you DONT have in AOSP? No Market??? No Gmail??? How can you possibly use Android without these things? Well that is exactly what I intend to find out.

Please feel free to contribute to the discussion with ideas and questions. Hopefully this thread can eventually be helpful for someone else who comes along and wants to do something similar.

More posts to follow as I progress....

EDIT: I should add, I also will try to avoid other "free" services like Yahoo! and Hotmail-- basically anyone who wants to run bots through your mail to sell you ads or sell your data to others who want to sell you ads, etc. I will be trying to use open-source or for-pay services where possible (if it's "free" then YOU'RE the product!).
 
Last edited:

jonnythan

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2008
1,196
84
I commend your ambition, but this is nothing new. There are already non-Google Android handsets an tablets on the market. The Kindle Fire, for example, is non-Google.

You can do the same with a GNex. Just don't add a Google account or use a ROM without the gapps. Install the Amazon App Store, change your default search, and away you go.
 
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Colemak

Senior Member
Dec 17, 2011
85
15
Personally the only Google apps I use are Gmail and the Play store, with an occasional use of maps and goggles.

Having a market is really just for convenience, you could install with APKs like on Windows you have to install from EXEs or MSIs. And if you're that against google you could just use the Amazon marketplace for stuff, though I've heard they take longer to receive updates.
 

The Gingerbread Man

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2010
8,099
3,948
Gloucester
In all honesty I don't know what to suggest except flashing 100% and not signing into Google services in any way or form. What you are asking is not possible unless you use apks from non market source and using Hotmail or something.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus expect possible typos.
 

sashavegas

Senior Member
Dec 18, 2010
157
34
Panama city
If somebody figure out how to use Calendar, without creating google account for at least one time, or tell me the alternative calendar (not just widget) that will not sync with google, it would be nice. For example Smasung TW Launcher has it's own calendar, that you can choose, without google, but pure ICS does not have.
I have tryed many alternative, such as Jorte, Pocket Informant, etc, but they are far away from stock ...
 

Tx2stepn

New member
Apr 7, 2012
2
1
I use:
1mobile.net
4shared.com (You also get 15gb cloud space free)
appbrain.com (get app from 4shared)
 

matt2053

Senior Member
Dec 17, 2010
2,066
295
40
Clearwater, FL
If somebody figure out how to use Calendar, without creating google account for at least one time, or tell me the alternative calendar (not just widget) that will not sync with google, it would be nice. For example Smasung TW Launcher has it's own calendar, that you can choose, without google, but pure ICS does not have.
I have tryed many alternative, such as Jorte, Pocket Informant, etc, but they are far away from stock ...

THIS is the point of the thread. Replacing Android Market with Amazon App Stores is completely simple and obvious. Getting contacts and calendar syncing, things like that are not so obvious. Mainly because I am not only going to avoid Google, but other services like Yahoo! or Hotmail, etc (anything that's "free" so they can monetize your data).
 

AndroidNeophyte

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2012
327
103
City Of Angels
OnePlus 7 Pro
Once you're connected to the internet, you're pretty much open to everyone... You can go offline if you don't want any of these... It's not only google... There's ways you can go anonymous like using proxy.... Using search engine that don't track search data... Google has an option for you to opt-in or opt out... Just like the previous responses, you can use amazon but don't think amazon doesn't track you also... How would they know what to recommend you... Google don't force users to stick only to them... And that's why I like google for this reason only...

Sent from my HTC Sensation 4g with Beats Audio
 

AndroidNeophyte

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2012
327
103
City Of Angels
OnePlus 7 Pro
THIS is the point of the thread. Replacing Android Market with Amazon App Stores is completely simple and obvious. Getting contacts and calendar syncing, things like that are not so obvious. Mainly because I am not only going to avoid Google, but other services like Yahoo! or Hotmail, etc (anything that's "free" so they can monetize your data).

There should be some third party app that will do these things, well you use linux, you should know that there's a lot of alternatives... Try if the software you use in ubuntu are available for android

Sent from my HTC Sensation 4g with Beats Audio
 

matt2053

Senior Member
Dec 17, 2010
2,066
295
40
Clearwater, FL
Once you're connected to the internet, you're pretty much open to everyone... You can go offline if you don't want any of these... It's not only google... There's ways you can go anonymous like using proxy.... Using search engine that don't track search data... Google has an option for you to opt-in or opt out... Just like the previous responses, you can use amazon but don't think amazon doesn't track you also... How would they know what to recommend you... Google don't force users to stick only to them... And that's why I like google for this reason only...

Sent from my HTC Sensation 4g with Beats Audio

The point isn't really to be 100% anonymous. That would require a dumbphone with prepaid sim or VPN/Proxy setups etc, and that's not what I'm look at. The point is to make an experiment and see how "non-Google" AOSP really is and how useful it is as a mobile OS on its own, without Google proprietary add-ons. Many people say you "have to have a Gmail account to use Android," or "you have to sync your contacts through Gmail" etc and I want to show people how they can do it without Google if they so choose.
 

crachel

Retired Senior Moderator
Jul 13, 2008
3,882
3,026
Texas
AOSP + open source Exchange alternative for syncing Calendar/Email/Contacts hosted on your own server (ie Zimbra)

Sideload all apps

Voila!
 

jonnythan

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2008
1,196
84
THIS is the point of the thread. Replacing Android Market with Amazon App Stores is completely simple and obvious. Getting contacts and calendar syncing, things like that are not so obvious. Mainly because I am not only going to avoid Google, but other services like Yahoo! or Hotmail, etc (anything that's "free" so they can monetize your data).

XDA monetizes your data. Every website does; that's how they pay for hosting and bandwidth.

Use a different calendar app and sync your contacts to Outlook, or just back them up somewhere.
 

OniV2

Senior Member
Jan 14, 2012
295
92
Alright, but you should really start off removing the antenna from your smartphone. Then compile AOSP, don't flash GApps, sideload all APK files.

There, now you're off the grid. Enjoy boredom and next to no convenient functionality.
 

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  • 14
    There have been posts about this here and there, but most of them are just asking for advice on how to do it. I plan to follow through and document the solutions I find.

    Why, you ask? I don't like Google having so much data on me. I used to not care but in today's environment with SOPA and new NSA data centers and whatnot, well... maybe I'm paranoid but I don't necessarily want anyone to so easily have such a complete profile of all my searches, contacts, location history, etc. Anyway, if you think it's dumb, ok, got it, move along please.

    So if I don't like Google then why use Android? Well, a couple of reasons. First of all, Google is not Android. Android is maintained by the Android Open Source Project, which in turn is made up of members of the Open Handset Alliance. Yes, Google is the lead member of the Open Handset Alliance, and yes most of the developers working on the Android Open Source Project are Google employees. But I've been following Android for long enough now to know that Google and Android are for all practical purposes separate entities.

    The second reason is because Android is simply the best mobile operating system on the planet right now, and it is free open-source software. I use Ubuntu on my laptop, and I'm not interested in switching to Windows or Mac, so that pretty much rules out iPhone or Windows Phone right there.

    But isn't Android really Google's OS? Yes and No. As I mentioned, Google does pretty much run the AOSP, along with device manufacturers. But AOSP is very "provider agnostic." Much of what you see on your phone is not from AOSP. The Galaxy Nexus is a GOOGLE device, not an AOSP device. Gmail, Maps, Market, Location Tracking, etc are all GOOGLE ADDITIONS and are NOT a part of AOSP! When you build AOSP from source (or Cyanogenmod), you end up with an agnostic, neutral device that has practically no mention of anything Google whatsoever.

    But what about what you DONT have in AOSP? No Market??? No Gmail??? How can you possibly use Android without these things? Well that is exactly what I intend to find out.

    Please feel free to contribute to the discussion with ideas and questions. Hopefully this thread can eventually be helpful for someone else who comes along and wants to do something similar.

    More posts to follow as I progress....

    EDIT: I should add, I also will try to avoid other "free" services like Yahoo! and Hotmail-- basically anyone who wants to run bots through your mail to sell you ads or sell your data to others who want to sell you ads, etc. I will be trying to use open-source or for-pay services where possible (if it's "free" then YOU'RE the product!).
    10
    Somebody needs to come out with a tinfoil hat edition ROM.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
    8
    I absolutely love Google and all of their services. You're crazy! Good luck with it though.
    7
    http://f-droid.org/

    The FDroid Repository is an easily-installable catalogue of FOSS applications for the Android platform. The server contains the details of multiple versions of each application, and the Android client makes it easy to browse, install them onto your device, and keep track of updates

    There you go, cyanogenmod, NO gapps, and f-droid... You have a open source and private and secure phone that runs aosp.
    4
    Online privacy is a myth, most apps and sites log your data and chances are you've been much more exposed than you are imagining now.

    You replace playstore with some other store, you use another contact manager, you search with a different engine, you are still screwed. It burns down to who you feel most comfortably with being screwed (pardon the grammar). So if Gapps-screw hurts, turn to another that hurts less.